How does the Program work?
A primary care medical professional must examine you and determine if your breast health issue and situation are appropriate for application to the program.
There are currently over 90 community clinics throughout the Greater Bay Area participating as referral agencies for the Patser Program. Each clinic has been trained on how to refer a patient to the program and has the application forms in their office.
To find a referral clinic near you call Donaji Olivares, Program Coordinator at (650) 326-6299, ext. 21.
- Women under the age of forty. Men of any age.
- Breast health problem suspicious of a malignancy or a strong family history of breast cancer (two first-degree relatives).
- Uninsured or under-insured.
- Family income less than or equal to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Clients receive the necessary services to diagnose their breast health issue from participating Patser providers (physicians and facilities in the area who contract with BCC to provide these services at reduced rates).
- Service may include breast ultrasound, mammography, surgical consultation, breast MRI, and biopsy.
- Clients receive these services free of charge. Providers bill BCC directly for the services provided.
- Help is provided to clients every step of the way to navigate the medical system, including interpreting and transportation assistance.
Why women under 40?
Early detection makes a critical difference in women’s chances of survival, especially young women whose tumors are often more aggressive and may require more aggressive treatments than their post-menopausal counterparts.
California has a state-funded program that provides screening and diagnostic services to underserved women over 40, but there are no resources for women under 40 or men of any age. The Gabriella Patser Program provides a safety net for the young women who present at risk for breast cancer but do not qualify for state assistance due to their age.